Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for January 2013

Talk at Bogazici: Juhani Yli-Vakkuri (Oxford and CSMN/University of Oslo) on “Propositions and Compositionality” (22/02/2012)

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Juhani Yli-Vakkuri (Oxford and CSMN/University of Oslo)

“Propositions and Compositionality”

Friday, 22/02/2012, TB130 5-7pm

ABSTRACT: In his classic paper 1980 paper, “Index, Context, and Content”, David Lewis argued that the existence of “shifty phenomena” like tense rules out semantic theories for natural languages which are both compositional and treat propositions (relative to contexts) as the semantic values of sentences. Since Jeff King’s 2003 paper “Tense, Modality, and Semantic Values“, Lewis’s argument  has been widely thought to admit of a fairly easy reply: it has been thought that Lewis’s mistake was to treat shifty constructions as sentence operators rather than quantifiers, and that once this mistake is corrected, we can have both proposionality (i.e., propositions as the semantic values of sentences) and compositionality. I argue that the shifty constructions discussed by Lewis preclude the combination of composionality and propositionality independently of whether they are treated as sentence operators or quantifiers. In fact, Lewis’s critics, who argue for the treatment of certain kinds of shiftiness as quantification, are really playing into the hands of his arguments. The inconsistency between propositionality and compositionality arises even more clearly on a quantificational treatment, from consideration of the relation between free and bound variables. The phenomenon of variable-binding itself is sufficient to rule out the combination of compositionality and propositionality.

Information about upcoming events at Bogazici can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Margot Strohminger (St Andrews) on “Imaginability Maxims and Appearances of Possibility” (21.02.2012)

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Margot Strohminger (St Andrews)

Thursday, 21/02/2012,  5-7pm, TB130

“Conceivability, inconceivability and modal intuitions”

Abstract. According to conceivability maxims, a kind of conceivability is a guide to possibility. According to inconceivability maxims, a kind of inconceivability is a guide to impossibility. Conceivability and inconceivability maxims face a challenge from defenders of intuitions as a source of justification. They claim that the epistemically relevant kind of (in)conceivability will have to involve an intuition of (im)possibility in order for the maxims to come out true; hence, the modal intuitions are doing all of the epistemic work. The aim of this talk is to argue that a number of options are available to the defender of a conceivability or inconceivability maxim in response.

Information about upcoming events at Bogazici can be found here

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

God, Mind, and Logical Space (forthcoming at Palgrave Macmillan)

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My second book manuscript, titled God, Mind, and Logical Space, is now accepted for publication and enters  the production stage. It will come out this year with Palgrave Macmillan, as part of the new series, Palgrave Frontiers in Philosophy of Religion. As with my other book (The Peripheral Mind, Oxford University Press forthcoming), the cover will feature work by Alex Robciuc.

Instead of a summary, I thought I offer a little teaser in guise of some quotes on a few of the many topics I discuss. Here they are:

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Noam Chomsky at Bogazici (18/01/2013)

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Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm